Mamadou Kamara murder: lawyers file claim against State on behalf of daughter

Public Interest Litigation Network files claim against Maltese State on behalf of Mamadou Kamara’s daughter

Mamadou Kamara
Mamadou Kamara

The Public Interest Litigation Network has filed a constitutional case claiming human rights violations on behalf of the relatives of Mamadou Kamara, who died aged 32 in 2012 while in custody of the Detention Services and Armed Forces of Malta.

PILN lawyers Eve Borg Costanzi and David E. Zammit filed the case on behalf of Kamara’s minor daughter, claiming a breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 33 of the Constitution of Malta, which protect the right to life.

In 2012, Sergeant Mark Anthony Dimech and Gunner Clive Cuschieri were charged with the murder of Mamadou Kamara. Over a decade later, the criminal proceedings against them are still ongoing.

An independent inquiry, published in 2014, concluded that the AFM personnel had used excessive force that led to the untimely death of Mamadou Kamara. Meanwhile, Dimech and Cuschieri are out on bail and both remained on the AFM payroll after being charged: Dimech retired from the Forces in 2018, after 25 years of service, while Cuschieri remains employed, as Lance Bombardier, by the AFM.

“The death of Mamadou Kamara, which happened under the responsibility of the State, and as a result of action by State agents, could have been avoided,” Borg Costanzi said.

“Mamadou Kamara’s family has not been kept informed on the investigation into his death and, eleven years after his killing, there have been no repercussions for the killers.”

Borg Costanzi said she was still a law student when Mamadou Kamara’s killing took place. “At the time I thought, this is such a blatant breach, I hope the family are in touch with a human rights lawyer so that the authorities are held to account and they can achieve some form of justice. I never imagined that, 12 years later, I would be filing that case myself. The violation – still blatant – is now aggravated by time.”

The Public Interest Litigation Network (PILN) is a network of lawyers focussed on cases of human rights violation and other matters of public interest, exploring national, supranational, and international legal mechanisms to ensure State and individual accountability, address abuses of power, and engage civil society and the legal community to advance social change.

It is currently made up of 20 members covering a wide range of legal expertise with years of experience in human rights, media, environmental and planning, constitutional, commercial, and civil law.

The PILN is funded by the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation, a registered non-profit advocacy and civil rights organization in Malta, but functions autonomously.